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The City of Danville’s Project Imagine program, in collaboration with non-profit organizations, is launching a sports development program that will begin with a basketball league open to all youths from age 13 to 18.
Six teams will be formed. They will play games in January and February at venues to be determined. Members of the local River City Dream semiprofessional basketball team will provide skills training.
The program, however, will go beyond playing basketball. Coaches must monitor their players’ academic performance. Youths will be required to perform five hours of community service.
“It’s a sports-based youth development program,” said Robert David, youth services and gang violence prevention coordinator for the City of Danville. “We want these kids to receive the skills that sports provides, but we also want to provide them with resources outside of sports, such as tutoring.”
The community service component is designed to give youths “a sense of ownership in the city,” David said.
A community advisory council will be formed to overlook the program, which could extend to other youth sports. “This program is not just basketball,” David said. “We understand that youths have diverse interests.”
While the Project Imagine program works with gang-affiliated teens, David stressed that this new sports-based development program is open to all youths from the ages of 13 to 18. To sign up, youths should email David at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Project Imagine office at 434-857-3354.